Melissa Anderson was nominated by her principal, Thomas Minick.
Mrs. Anderson has redefined the role of teacher/counselor at Rimersburg Elementary School by her actions, words, and thoughts. She has demonstraged this by creating programs and working with community members to enrich the students and their families. In each program that she is involved in, she has demonstrated her leadership qualities and ability to prioritize her students' needs before her own.
Instead of seeing challenges and obstacles in her students and their families, she embraces them, learns from them, and works relentlessly to change the outcome. Mrs. Anderson exceeds the expectations of families during the holiday season, ensuring that over 100 students have warm clothing, food and presents on Christmas morning. During the course of a school year, she maintains the same commitment to ensuring students are dressed appropriately for the season, well nourished, behaving socially and academically.
Mrs. Anderson is the leader of the RES student council program, which brings events and enthusiasm to the school. She started a Trailblazers Running Club that meets after school two days a week. This program encourages exercise and the importance of being part of a team. She has also started a Lunch Buddies program, a Kindness Crusader Program, and even goes into the classroom once a week for a lesson. Mrs. Anderson is the 504 coordinator and PSSA testing administrator, and is responsible for ensuring students receive the help they need. All of these programs and actions have a significant impact on her students' emotional well-being and mental health.
As a counselor, she deals with intense family problems, but always finds a solution. These situations come at a moment's notice and often with no warning signs. She has the dignity and respect of families to pause her agenda and listen to them.
"She is one of the most supportive colleagues that I have come across in my 20 years in education," Minick said. "Therefore, she deserves recognition for her dedication to her profession, students and the families of Union School District."